The large living room has sliding door to a massive North facing deck.
• 1237 sqft , 2 bath , 2 bdrm apartment – FOR SALE CAD325,000 . Located just a short walk to Cherry Lane mall. MLS® 185911
in Main South, Penticton – Immaculate two bedroom, two bath condo in Brookfield Place. Located just a short walk to Cherry Lane mall and across the street from a park, this home is central to amenities in Penticton. Recently updated with flooring, baseboards, stainless appliances, washer and dry and newer paint throughout. This spacious home features a bright kitchen with eating bar open to the dining area. The large living room has sliding door to a massive North facing deck. Master bedroom offers plenty of space plus a 2 piece ensuite. There is one secured parking and a large storage locker located beside. 55+, no pets and no rentals.
Decorating with a big budget may be the dream, but you can still have a beautiful home without spending a lot. You just need a bit of creativity and a little insider know-how to make your home look like a million bucks, even though you only spent a few! Here are seven great decorating tips that will help you have a stylish home on a tight budget.
Paint is Your Secret Weapon
Paint is probably the most versatile item in your budget decorator’s toolkit. Simply painting your walls the right color can take a room from ho-hum to Hello! But don’t stop at the walls. Everything from floors, to furniture, to cabinets, right up to the ceiling, can be made more beautiful with a coat (or two) of paint.
Do your prep work. Take the time to clean, sand and prep all surfaces carefully. It will make all the difference between a perfect finish and one that never looks quite right
Make sure you use the right type of paint. If you’re painting the floor, get good floor paint and be sure to use a topcoat. Or, if you’re painting cabinets, get paint designed specifically for your type of cabinets. Although it may cost a bit more, the results are absolutely worth it.
Print Your Own Art
Big artwork can make a big impact, but it can also cost big bucks. Instead of waiting to buy a big piece, why not turn your own photos into art? There are plenty of local and online printers that can turn pictures into posters for a minimal cost.
Or, if you prefer artwork over photos, there are a variety of sites that offer high-quality royalty-free downloads. Additionally, many libraries and museums have impressive collections of public domain images that would make beautiful and unique artwork.
Upgrade Your Hardware
It might seem like a small detail, but new hardware can completely transform a set of cabinets or a piece of furniture. Take an out-of-date kitchen up a level with sleek new cabinet handles and drawer pulls.
Moreover, if you’re dreaming of adding character to a standard builder’s kitchen, shop flea markets and antique stores for vintage hardware that will add instant charm. You can also give an ordinary dresser a fresh new look by upgrading the knobs to something a little fancier.
Wallpaper Always Makes an Impact
The power of wallpaper should not be underestimated! While it’s true some wallpapers can run a pretty penny, you can also get rolls that range from $30-$50 at many home retailers. And one roll will generally cover around 25-35 feet. Which means you can dramatically transform a powder room or entryway for minimal cost. You can also use wallpaper to create an eye-catching feature wall or turn a plain piece of furniture into a stylish custom piece.
Cover It Up
Do you have a comfortable couch or chair you love that has seen better days? Don’t give up on a good piece of furniture just because it’s a little bit worn or dated. Consider a slipcover instead of splurging for a replacement.
Not only will a slipcover give new life to an old sofa, but it can also protect a new sofa from inevitable spills and messes. You can get them in almost any color to coordinate with your decor. Or, opt for classic white and have that beautiful white sofa without all the risk.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Thrifty
While it may not be quite as convenient as ordering online, thrift stores and vintage shops are a great way to get beautiful, unique decor at a fraction of the cost. With a bit of patience, you can find well-made pieces with beautiful details that will add charm and character. And if you’re willing to put in a little effort, you can turn a vintage find that has lost its luster into a favorite piece.
Shop Your House
The most economical and environmentally friendly way to update your decor is to use what you already have. With a bit of creativity, you can give your home a whole new look without spending a cent.
Start by swapping a few big pieces between rooms. Then dig through closets and storage spaces to find decor items you haven’t seen in a while. If you don’t have a stash of back-up decor, try using unconventional items in unique ways.
Get the look you want for less with these tips for decorating on a budget. And don’t worry, no one else needs to know how little your fabulous looking home cost!
Autumn might be right around the corner, but finding new ways to spend more time outside has never been as important as it is right now. And what better way to spend some time with friends and family than toasting marshmallows over the fire, talking and having a drink?
This is why an outdoor kitchen or small entertainment area in the backyard could make all the difference. Outdoor kitchens and entertainment areas can easily turn your garden into a functional space, as well as combine cooking and socializing with friends for the ultimate summer (and then autumn) experience. So if you’re looking to go beyond the typical BBQ grill and patio chairs, here’s how you can create the perfect setup for you and your friends.
Pick the Right Spot
Ideally, your outdoor kitchen and entertainment area shouldn’t be located too far from your house, so that you can have access to electricity and running water. This will also allow you to make a quick dash inside for any last-minute items you might need, but also give your guests easy access to facilities such as the bathroom. If your garden already has amenities such as a pool or a kids’ play area, setting up your outdoor kitchen close by is a good call.
Work with the Space You Have
Outdoor kitchens are very versatile and customizable, so even if you don’t have a lot of space in your garden, there are ways you can make it work. Large backyards can accommodate a sprawl of countertops, appliances, cabinets, fridges, and a dining area that could put a restaurant to shame. For smaller gardens, a circular design for prepping, cooking and dishing-up will work just as well, and you can even create a counter space with high stools for a cozy dining area. Also, make sure that your setup doesn’t isolate you from the party, and go for one that allows you to socialize with the guests as you cook.
Your outdoor kitchen should be designed with the same flow and functionality as your indoor one. To avoid any unnecessary back-and-forth, designate your areas in advance, and set up your appliances accordingly.
This should include a counter for preparing the ingredients, a sink, a fridge, as well as prepping utensils, such as knives and chopping boards. If you use the fridge in the prep space for storing items such as raw meat, it’s best to have a separate fridge for drinks.
Place your cooking area in the middle, so that you can easily move between the prepping and serving spaces. This is where you should install your cooking appliances, as well as all the accessories that go with the job, from tongs and spatulas, to heat-proof gloves, maybe even a chef’s hat.
Ideally, this should be placed close to the cooking area, so that you and your guests can have easy access to the food as soon as it’s done. Use this space for storing plates and cutlery, and if the space allows it, you can have a designated counter for dishing-up, complete with trays where the food is kept, or a warming drawer.
Lounge and Entertainment Zone
Although your cooking area can act as a focal point, especially when your guests are hungry, your outdoor entertainment area should come with a separate spot for dining and relaxation. What you set here depends entirely on your budget and imagination. Apart from tables and chairs, you can include an outdoor cinema system, a minibar, a lounging area with recliner chairs, and even a fire pit.
Selecting the Right Appliances
The appeal of an outdoor kitchen isn’t just the fact that you can cook outside, but rather, the fact that you can cook dishes that aren’t suitable for cooking indoors. So when picking cooking appliances, think outside the four walls. A barbecue setup or a stainless steel grill are always a great choice, or if you really want to impress, why not go for a wood-fired pizza oven? Having a fridge on site for drinks and ingredients is a must, as well as a spacious sink. In fact, you can go the extra mile and install a minibar, complete with a beer keg and tap system.
Finding Fantastic Furniture
When it comes to furniture, it all depends on you and your guests’ personality. Are you the type to keep it simple with some bean bags and picnic blankets, or do you want to recreate al fresco dining in all its splendor? Whichever you go for, remember that functionality and durability are key features for your outdoor furniture.
Prepare for Rain and Shine
Just because you’re the perfect host doesn’t mean that wind and rain should be welcome at your dinner party. Weatherproofing your outdoor kitchen and entertainment area should also make its way on your to-do list, and it’s not as difficult to implement as you’d think. A pergola or retractable canopy will see you covered against rain and sun, as well as extend the lifetime of this exciting addition to your backyard.
Tastefully designed and decorated with a great floor plan.
• 2858 sqft , 3 bath , 3 bdrm single story – FOR SALE CAD588,000 . Home with city and lake views! MLS® 185591
in Duncan / Columbia, Penticton – Stunning, quality built home with city and lake views! Tastefully designed and decorated with a great floor plan. The main floor consists of a large kitchen with gas stove that opens onto a bright family room with skylight and gas fireplace. Large formal living room with huge windows to take in the beautiful views, and a spacious dining room with a gas fireplace. Tasteful tile throughout the main floor, private master suite with large walk in closet and a full ensuite, another full bathroom & an additional bedroom. Downstairs has a cozy rec room with gas fireplace, temperature controlled wine room, a large bedroom and an additional bedroom/den as well as a full bathroom and lots of storage. Pet friendly fenced yard, covered parking, forced air heating with heat pump, Concrete tile roof in great shape! Walking distance to shopping in a very central location. Private patio just off dining room with natural gas BBQ. This home is a must see! Call for more exciting details today!
Due to the tremendous response we’ve received on our article on ‘10 Trees That Will Ruin Your Yard’, we decided that a follow-up piece is in order. So, back by popular demand, here are another 10 trees to watch out for, based on both your recommendations, as well as experts’ picks.
Along with its cousin, Lombardy Poplar, it was once a popular ornamental tree that has fallen out of favor with homeowners. Not only is it very brittle, dropping twigs and branches all over your garden, but it’s also susceptible to wind damage. If you’re considering planting this tree in your garden, think again — it has the tendency to reproduce clonally, from root shoots, making it highly invasive.
Popular for its autumn foliage and edible berries, sumac is another ornamental shrub that’s worth keeping an eye on. Unless you dedicate your time to harvesting the berries, they can create a real mess in your garden. Also, it can be easily mistaken for poison sumac, which can cause even worse skin rashes than poison ivy.
Another non-native tree that has become common in landscaping, the Siberian elm is an all-around pest. Sure, it’s a fast grower and it can look spectacular when it reaches maturity. But on the downside, it is very brittle, easily damaged by storms, susceptible to all sorts of bugs and diseases, and it spreads like wildfire. Not the kind of tree you’d want in your garden — or your neighbor’s.
It’s easy to have a soft spot for maples, especially in autumn, when their leaves can really make your garden pop with color. Not the Norway maple, though. This greedy invasive tree will bleed your garden dry of water and nutrients, preventing other plants from growing underneath, on top of causing a lot of mess when it sheds its winged fruit and leaves.
The majestic oak is a great ornamental tree if you have a mansion in the countryside. Not so much in a suburban garden though. Oaks can grow very large, potentially damaging power lines, while their wide, shallow root system can break through pavements and foundations. Also, unless you’re a squirrel, you won’t find picking up endless acorns from your lawn too entertaining.
Everyone loves the scent of linden flowers on a warm, summer’s eve. That is, until you have to spend the rest of your summer and autumn picking up flowers and seeds from your lawn. Aphids love linden just as much as you, and can easily spread to other plants, while sap secretions will cover your car and driveway in a sticky mess.
Scots pine can be a tempting garden addition if you’re looking for an evergreen tree. However, it will still shed needles and pine cones everywhere, and is also very vulnerable to pests and diseases, which can drastically reduce its lifespan.
Sycamores are slowly becoming the ultimate urban landscaping tree. They’re fast growers, tolerant to air pollution, and easy to maintain. Yet they can create a right mess, dropping flowers and seeds everywhere, and can quickly take over your yard. Also, if you have allergies, the large quantities of pollen it produces will see you sneezing and wheezing all spring long.
Kousa dogwood can make a stunning addition to your garden when it blooms, or when the leaves turn bright red in autumn. However, you’ll soon find that you spend more time cleaning up after this tree than admiring it. Not only will it riddle your yard with flowers and leaves, but also berries, which turn to slime very easily and stain everything in their path.
Like the Bradford pear, this tree may seem like a great choice to plant in your garden, until the foul smell of its flowers kicks in. Vulnerable to diseases and also breakage, due to its thin branches, the Callery pear tries to compensate through rampant spread. Not only does it have little ornamental value, but its smell will definitely put everyone off.
When deciding which trees and shrubs to grow in your garden, always try to prioritize native plants. They are better suited for the local climate, more resistant to pests and diseases, they promote biodiversity, and are beneficial to native wildlife.
Close to everything downtown, Penticton, events centre
• 641 sqft , 1 bath , 2 bdrm single story – FOR SALE CAD295,000 . RD2 Zoning , First time buyers. MLS® 185546
in Penticton Main North – RD2 Zoning , First time buyers, or developer alert, home needs some TLC, great rental, Close to everything downtown, Penticton Events Centre, movie theater and casino; close to schools. This home has 2 bedrooms plus Den and 1 bathroom 647 square feet, .06 acre. Lots of parking in the rear with alley access and fully fenced yard.
Close to shopping and schools. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
• 1830 sqft , 2 bath , 3 bdrm single story – FOR SALE CAD649,000 . Excellent home steps to Okanagan Lake MLS® 185535
in Penticton Main North – Excellent home steps to Okanagan Lake, events center, tennis courts and park. Close to shopping and schools. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, .22 of an acre, tandem garage with carport and a small workshop. Good sized yard with mature landscaping and room to park your toys or RV. Updated gas furnace, separate laundry room, laminate flooring and a partially covered patio for outdoor entertaining. Great potential, air BnB
But the weakness in the rental market risks infecting the housing market.
MONTREAL ― The COVID-19 lockdowns have exposed a divide in Canada’s job market, with low-income earners getting hit much harder than high-income earners in the wave of layoffs that has taken place since March.
Now that divide is making itself felt in the housing market. As those on the lower rungs of the income ladder struggle to make rent, middle and higher-income Canadians are jumping back into the housing market.
The result? Rental rates rates are falling steeply across Canada, even as the housing market shows signs of life, with prices even rising in some markets.
Rental rates across Canada have fallen for three straight months and are down 7.8 per cent, on average, from before the pandemic, rental site Rentals.ca reported this week.
“Tenants have been more dramatically impacted by pandemic-related job loss than homeowners, and are not currently looking for apartments or other rental accommodation,” Bullpen Research president Ben Myers said in a statement. “This sharp drop in demand has resulted in landlords dropping their asking rents in most major markets across the country.”
Larger cities have been hit particularly hard. Rents per square foot have dropped steeply in Toronto since the pandemic and are now 9.5 per cent below their levels from a year ago, Rentals.ca reported.
Average asking rents jumped 3.8 per cent in May in Vancouver in May, but on a per square foot basis, condo rents fell 2.4 per cent in May, and are 5.4 per cent lower than a year ago, Rentals.ca said.
House prices rising in many markets
It’s a different story in the housing market, where real estate agents say they are seeing a sharp pick-up in activity since lockdowns started lifting. Buyers and sellers have become more comfortable with virtual tours and with social distancing measures taken during viewings, they note.
Many people pulled their houses off the market during the lockdowns, and as buyers come back, pressure is building on the market.
“The story lately has been a lack of overall inventory,” Toronto real estate Doug Vukasovic wrote in a recent report looking at the local housing market.
“For the year to date, a downward trend in pricing has already been corrected. … Even now, most properties are ripe for bidding wars, and many are getting snatched up within a few days of their being listed.”
Will the barrier break?
But the divide between the rental and housing markets could soon break down. That’s because a significant chunk of Canada’s homes, particularly condos, is in the hands of investors who rely on the rental market to pay their mortgages.
That could be a problem, especially for those investors who bought their properties in recent years at high prices. A recent report from TorontoRentals.com found that units in many of Toronto’s new condo buildings are losing money at current rental rates.
Some experts have warned that if this continues long enough, it could lead to forced selling in the housing market, driving up the supply and pushing down prices.
That could also happen if tourists don’t return to Canada’s cities, economists at National Bank of Canada wrote in a report at the end of May.
“Tourism is likely to be slow for some time, and the possibility cannot be excluded that lodgings currently marketed to tourists on short-term-rental platforms such as Airbnb will be put up for sale for lack of revenue,” economists Matthieu Arseneau and Alexandra Ducharme wrote.
Arseneau and Ducharme are forecasting a 10-per-cent drop in the Teranet house price index over the next year, which would make it the steepest one-year drop in Canadian house prices in decades.
Among major cities, the National Bank economists predict that Toronto will see the steepest price decline, with its price index dropping 13 per cent.
House prices will also fall in Vancouver (down 12 per cent), Calgary (down 10 per cent) and Montreal (down 7 per cent), they forecast.
However, prices could fall more than that if immigration to Canada comes in below expectations after the pandemic, Arseneau and Ducharme wrote. Immigration has fallen after three of the past four recessions, they noted.
They also noted that prices could fall further than expected if Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) tightens standards for mortgage insurance.
Days after the report came out, CMHC did just that, tightening the standards for the maximum amount of debt borrowers of insured mortgages can carry.
Experts estimate the change will reduce the maximum purchase price for a home with an insured mortgage by up to 12 per cent. Canada’s two privately-run mortgage insurers, Genworth and Canada Guaranty, have said they will not follow the CMHC’s move.
The average cost to buy a home in Canada has climbed to $539,000.
OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) says home sales continued to rebound in June after plunging earlier this year due to the pandemic.
The association said Wednesday that sales in June were up 63 per cent on a month-over-month basis, while the number of newly listed properties climbed 49.5 per cent from May to June.
Compared with a year ago, sales in June were up 15.2 per cent.
The actual national average price for homes sold in June was almost $539,000, up 6.5 per cent from the same month last year.
The real estate industry came to a near standstill earlier this year as non-essential businesses closed to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CREA said the jump in sales returned them to “normal levels” for June, noting they were up 150 per cent from where they were in April.
But while it may be hitting “normal levels,” the overall market is “obviously not back to normal at this point,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist.
“The market has recovered much faster than many would have thought, but what happens later this year remains a big question mark,” said Cathcart in a statement.
“That said, daily tracking suggests that July, at least, will be even stronger.”
Though the numbers, at a glance, appear to suggest there was not “anything amiss in the economy whatsoever,” BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said the housing market now must keep up its momentum.
Porter said that looking further out, the market will have to balance slowing immigration levels, low interest rates and short housing supply — creating a “tension” with “lasting scars from the shutdowns.”
“Home sales, prices and starts have effectively regained all the ground lost during the shutdown,” Porter wrote in a note to clients.
“However, fair point that some of this outsized strength is simply pent-up demand for the lost sales from the key spring season.”
Former Airbnb units are hitting the market at a time when buyers are looking further out of the city.
Is the golden age of high-rise condos behind us?
Statistics Canada thinks that might be the case. The agency put out two reports this week in which it predicted that the shift to working from home, and the bust-out of short-term rentals amid the pandemic, will depress demand for condos in the longer run.
“As working from home becomes more prevalent, we may see an increase in the demand for larger living spaces that single-family homes can offer, causing a shift in demand from condominium apartments towards single houses,” StatCan said in a rare bit of crystal ball-gazing this week.
“Builders may start catering to buyers’ preferences by offering additional office space in the design of their new homes to accommodate remote working arrangements.”
In an outlook published this week, the agency predicted that in the country’s three largest housing markets ― Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver ― condos will come under pressure.
“Prior to the pandemic, Toronto was experiencing an exodus of middle class families to surrounding cities. This population outflow was previously overshadowed by immigration which has now decreased due to the impacts of the pandemic. This will likely also drive down the price of condominiums in the medium to long term,” the agency said.
“Similarly to Toronto, Vancouver has a potential of short term rentals flooding the market and thus causing a decline in condominium prices in the short to medium term.”
Recent data from real estate groups is pointing in the same direction.
An analysis from real estate portal Zoocasa found that in June there was a 257-per-cent spike in available condo rentals in Toronto buildings known to be “Airbnb-friendly.” That compares to an 83-per-cent increase, versus a year ago, in available rentals in the city as a whole.
“A significantly slower tourism industry is forcing many short-term rental investors to consider recalibrating their income strategy to either seek long-term tenants or consider offloading their investment entirely,” Zoocasa’s head of communications, Jannine Rane, wrote on the portal’s blog.
Meanwhile, a large share of homebuyers is looking to purchase on the edges of the city, or outside the city altogether, a phenomenon that seems to be happening in cities around the world, including in New York, London and the San Francisco Bay Area. As with Toronto, in many cases, it’s an acceleration of existing trends.
In a recent Nanos poll for the Ontario Real Estate Association, 60 per cent of respondents said they found rural living more appealing than before the pandemic.
“This is the highest demand we’ve seen for waterfront properties on record, with sales activity bouncing from recent lows to hit the largest sales record for any month in history,” Lakelands Association of Realtors president Catharine Inniss said in a statement.
And while Toronto’s real estate board cheerily reported a rebound in sales and a nearly 12-per-cent increase in the average selling price in June, the condo market there is showing signs of softening.
Condo sales were 16.3 per cent lower in June than a year earlier, while detached home sales were up 5.6 per cent.
The MLS home price index shows condo prices have fallen or stopped growing in the past few months in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
In a recent report, Toronto real estate agent Doug Vukasovic noted that the very high prices in city cores are also driving people to look further outside the city.
“But bang for your buck may no longer be telling the whole story,” Vukasovic wrote. “Anticipating a post-pandemic ‘new normal’ of more flexible work and commuting arrangements, could buyers be prioritizing a bit more space ― and even a bit of backyard ― over being in the midst of the action downtown?
“Time will tell if this trend continues and Toronto’s suburbs continue their growing appeal.”